Happy Birthday, Lisa Alther, born 23 July 1944
- The kind of fiction that interests me most, as a reader and as a writer, is the kind that attempts to expand our understanding of the human psyche….I have always read fiction for clues to the murder mystery that is life. And I have always written fiction as an act of self-discovery.
- I just write what I have to write for my own internal reasons, and then, once it’s written, other people classify it. I have been classified as a southern writer and also as a woman writer and a feminist writer, but the categories are not something I would necessarily apply to myself.
- Whatever I experienced in the world that I didn’t understand I’d invent a story and work out my understanding of something through the story.
- That’s the risk you take if you change: that people you’ve been involved with won’t like the new you. But other people who do will come along.
- I happen to feel that the degree of a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic.
- I think of fiction writers as waves breaking on a beach. A wave comes in and breaks, washing the flotsam up the beach, and then recedes. And then the next wave comes in. That’s the way I think it should be. Each new generation of writers is dealing with the issues that are important to that generation and to that time in world history. I don’t know that it’s really necessary to preserve authors down through the centuries.
- I wrote for fourteen years and couldn’t get published. So I got used to the idea of not having an audience. I knew that if I were going to continue writing, I had to find other reasons than fame and riches and reactions from readers. I decided that I love to write, that it’s the most fun I have, so that makes it worth doing; and I use writing to figure out things about my life and the world, so that makes it worth doing; and it’s a craft and I can feel that I’m getting better at it and thus may hope eventually to get published, and that makes it worth doing.
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